Saturday, June 7, 2014

Raise the Wage

The stock market is close to a never before high of 17,000. Wall Street still will not support Main Street’s minimum wage increase, which should be even higher than the $15 to $18 than advocated and now some say should be more like $22 an hour if the minimum had kept up with inflation. Never the less, it is now been shown the need by workers and businesses that there has to be cash in the pockets of the spenders to save the capitalist consumer society. The Stock holders of large corporations should be the ones pushing their CEOs (chief executive officers) to raise the workers’ wages, especially when their wages are so high that they border on obscene. What is it with these CEO thinking they deserve such high compensation while others, the ones who do the work, are being paid chump change? Are these CEOs so greedy and heartless that they turn a blind’s eye to the suffering of others? Do they really think they are the only ones entitled to the good life? They don’t feel the pain the rest of us feel, they’re cushioned by their money. If the Walmart board would order its CEOs to raise the wages of its store employees then other companies would follow, but at this time everyone is trying to make their profits by cutting and cutting using the excuse of austerity, which usually means workers’ wages and not CEOs. Some corporations and their CEOs are starting to see the light. McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, whose salary is $9.9 million a year, supports raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25. Think about this, McDonald’s workers would have to work two months to make what Thompson makes in an hour. That’s very big of him and the other CEOs, like Subway, starting to say they support the minimum wage increase. There are companies already paying $15 or more. There will be more cities, like Seattle, Washington, and the Sea-Tac Airport are pushing for the $15. Most cities are slow walking the increase, which is not good for the workers because it gives the anti-wage hike people more time to defeat the workers with propaganda using Fox news and its talking heads. So let’s look at what is good at this time: 1). the conversation has started; 2). some have already signed on to a wage increase; 3). economists have now admitted that more cash in workers hands means more jobs and a better economy; 4). government agencies means more jobs, not less; 5). history shows us the more spending equals more taxes. Now, the arguments against the wage increase: 1). McDonalds cost for a Big Mac would increase by 67 cents; 2). layoffs will occur, maybe in the beginning but the demand will cause more workers to be hired. This is the same with most businesses and if they can’t pay higher wages then a subsistence wage then perhaps they should not be in business, as President Franklin Roosevelt said. I think his reasoning was if they didn’t pay a living wage then the taxpayers would have to help support their workers, which is just corporate welfare like Walmart and all the other low paying mega corporations are getting. These companies actually show workers how to apply for government welfare programs, like food stamps and McDonalds went a step further and advise its workers not to turn on their home heat to lower their utility costs, while these companies hauled in huge profits. The 47 percent workers are winning, but must not let down their guard, but keep pushing for wage increase. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will kick people off the government welfare programs, which mean it’s a rub and no gains have been made. We must have a minimum wage of no less than $15 to $18 an hour now, not in one-two-or three years down the road. When wages are slow walked they are just trying to starve you out. Thanks to Thomas Piketty for shining the light on this.